Though online Rummy doesn’t enjoy quite the same popularity as big-hitters like poker or blackjack in most of the developed world, it is immensely popular in India. It is, in many ways, the game of choice for a country that is home to nearly 1 in 5 people on Earth, easily eclipsing games like poker and blackjack in the country.
The game didn’t originate in India – it’s actually a Mexican export – but its popularity there actually has plenty to teach us about why it deserves a bigger chunk of the American and European gaming spaces.
Reason 1: It’s Not Really Gambling
There are two ways to play Rummy, and all its many, many variants, on the internet: for money or purely for fun. More on why it’s fun in a second, but the thing about playing Rummy for cash is that it doesn’t work the way online slots work or even online poker. India has very strict laws against online gambling, but the Indian government rightly understands that playing Rummy is largely not a game of chance and winning money for playing it is closer to winning a cash prize for a sport or a chess tournament than it is winning a casino game.
The US may be joining its European counterparts in legalizing online gambling, but it’s certainly not there yet and many countries in the world – especially more religious ones – are even stricter with their anti-gambling laws than India, which means that Rummy is the perfect game for people in those places who want to compete for money online but aren’t allowed access to real gambling games.
Reason 2: It’s Really Easy to Get Into
Rummy is a card game that is for many young card players, the very first game they learned to play outside of super, super easy games like Snap. There’s even an even more accessible, board-game version of Rummy that’s especially huge with kids and families with younger kids. Some effort may be required to learn the differences between different versions of the game and especially how to score, but the basic rules of the game are so straightforward that it’s easy to just pick up and play and start forming melds.
Players still can’t play for-cash versions of online Rummy if they are under 18 (or 21), but there’s no age limit for playing it for free. Kids may well graduate onto the free versions of online games like Poker or Blackjack, but those games just don’t have the instant appeal of Rummy when you remove the actual betting from them.
Reason 3: It’s Actually Fun to Play – Even for Free
Rummy is very easy to get into, but it actually takes quite a lot of skill to get good at it. It especially tests your observational skills as so much of winning comes down to seeing sequences in sets across the cards that are in the discard pile, the stockpile, the table and your hand, and knowing how to make whole melds even out of a single, lone card in your hand.
It’s also very relaxed in its gameplay, even if very close games can get tense, and games are never so long that you can’t play a few rounds in a row without noticing where the time went.
Reason 4: Competitive Online Tournaments Are Easy to Find
Even if you can’t find large, heavily competitive Rummy tournaments at your local casino, it’s always super easy to find well-managed, serious Rummy tournaments online, for all levels of wagers and across every kind of variant of the game. You can probably find some great tournaments to participate in in your home country, but you 100% can by joining one of countless tournaments on Indian sites – though you may need to convert your dollars or Euros for rupees. Which is no big issue considering that exchange rates will favor those in developed countries like the UK or the US.
Reason 5: It’s a Nice Alternative to More Popular Games
And perhaps the most compelling reason why online Rummy deserves to be big worldwide is that it offers a nice alternative to the more familiar gambling games out there. It can be just as competitive and high-stakes as online poker, but by offering something different to regular online gamers, it can offer some much needed variety in their gaming. Especially if they’re in the mood for something that’s a bit less reliant on pure chance than many casino games tend to be.